Jimmy Walker US PGA 2016
Jimmy Walker was reading the putts to perfection on round one of the US PGA Championship, July 28, 2016Reuters

Jimmy Walker saw those putts roll in as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson's did not, with Henrik Stenson putting himself on course to clinch a second consecutive major after the opening round of the US PGA Championship 2016 at Baltusrol in New Jersey.

Walker leads a major for the first time in his career after a five-under 65, with former world number one Martin Kaymer, Brit Ross Fisher and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina a shot behind, having fired four-under pars in their opening rounds. Walker had six birdies in round one, and the American believes as long as his putting keeps working, he has a chance to win the US PGA Championship.

"I feel like all year it's just been real stale and stagnant," Walker said. "It's just ebbs and flows of golf. Just haven't been scoring and It's frustrating. I would have loved to have had a better year than I've had so far to this point, but I know there's always time to play well at the end of the year.

"I'm a good putter. Like good shooters, just keep shooting. I'm just going to keep putting, and they're going to start going in."

While Walker will be revelling in his first round lead, the man to really watch out for is Stenson, who is coming off a fantastic victory over Phil Mickelson which saw him clinch the Open Championship title earlier this month.

Stenson shot a 67 in his first round to stay just two shots behind the leader. "It's been a great season for me," the 40-year-old said. "But at the same time, I want to give myself a chance to try to make it the best season."

It does not look like being a great season for McIlroy, after the Irishman struggled in a major again, missing putt after putt to finish on a round of 74. World number two Dustin Johnson was even worse off, finding the water, bunkers, roughs and trees to end day one with a 77.

The No.1 ranked player in the world and defending champion – Jason Day – is well in contention after shooting a 68, to stay within three shots of the lead. Jordan Spieth, the world number three, shot an even-par 70, while Mickelson, who produced one of the best duels of all-time with Stenson at the Open Championship at Royal Troon, managed a 71.

Anirban Lahiri had an opening round to forget, as the Indian could only manage a 73, putting him eight shots behind the leader. Lahiri will hope to make up some ground in the second round.

Get the full leaderboard after round one HERE

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